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Recently, Carl Sagan has re-emerged into the news. First, someone has looped some of his statements, plus a few of Hawking's, into a YouTube video. Also, he has been unmasked as a pot smoker of the first water.

The first is still moving me to tears. It's on my heavy playlist right now, which means several times a day. The second is less interesting: somehow, I always found Cosmos a little too New Agey for someone who'd cut their PBS teeth on The Ascent of Man (perhaps Civilisation fans can top me, but I was too young), and used to fight with Mom on whether we'd see Barney Miller or The Age of Uncertainty. Really. I am a middlebrow. But at the same time, I was also quite the pot smoker, found what I see now to be an incredible sex appeal to be quite ordinary, and watched Cosmos "of course".

Now, back in the late Sixties into the early Seventies, my family had a boat. It wasn't much of a boat, the way that my stepfather wasn't much of a success or or a War Hero, but we docked it in Branford, Ct, and for a grand holiday, we took it to the North Fork of Long Island.

Nowadays, we call it The Hamptons.

Unbeknownst to me, and perhaps my parents, and to many other people, we rubbed shoulders with many people far beyond our station, and who influenced me in ways I'm still trying to unravel.

And then we sold the boat.

And then I fell in love. And He took me, via the ferry, to Port Jefferson...

When I first remembered Port Jefferson, it was like something out of H.P. Lovecraft. It was Innsmouth. Because I was a freak, it was, of course, wonderful: it had a 1930's soda fountain, and a Toy Store, where you could buy all kinds of old games, and a Library, where I fell in love with Leonardo, via a facsimile of his manuscripts....

When I re-emerged in P.J. it was...well....Disneyland. Nothing quite fit. But there was a Yarn Store, and Carmen and I went inside...

The Yarn Lady taught me how to spin with a drop spindle. It's really quite simple, spin the spindle, pinch and stretch out pieces of roving while stretching out your arms, like pulling taffy, while the yarn drops down at a right angle (it's incredibly graceful). Then wind the yarn on the spindle, re-hook the yarn on the spindle, and do it again. And again. When the spindle's full, make a new starter, cut off the old skein and start a new one. Then she sold me a pound of roving (which was about two shopping bags full), and I went off to the ferry.
The day was warm, the sea was blue, the wool was white, and I was finding myself quite taken by my little toy. Spinning wool, if you're not too mindful of it being a consistent thickness, has the mindless joy of chewing gum or playing with a yo-yo. Up, down, wind yarn, up, down, wind yarn... it's easy to see how Roman matrons kept doing it even when slaves were making the actual clothing for the house. And the fluffy roving looked like the soft clouds in the sky, which looked like the sweep of a galaxy's arms...hydrogen, carbon, and sulfur, locked in complex patterns...Up, down, wind yarn. Sagan's radiant face, Carmen's sexy body... I had no idea what I would do with all this yarn I was accruing: I vaguely remember thinking it might make fine cord for gift wrap, or I'd give or trade it to one of the Knitting Relatives.

"May I ask what you're doing?" the old lady said.
"I'm making thread." I said, feeling dreamy. Up, stretch, down, wind yarn.
"Such an archaic thing for a young person to do."
"Not really." Up, stretch, down, wind yarn. "I'm also thinking about astrophysics." Spin, up, stretch, down, wind yarn.
"You're thinking about such a cold, inhuman, thing as astrophysics while spinning yarn?"
"Can't you see, it's all the same thing?"

Garlic and sapphires in the mud
Clot the bedded axle-tree.
The trilling wire in the blood
Sings below inveterate scars
Appeasing long forgotten wars.
The dance along the artery
The circulation of the lymph
Are figured in the drift of stars
Ascend to summer in the tree
We move above the moving tree
In light upon the figured leaf
And hear upon the sodden floor
Below, the boarhound and the boar
Pursue their pattern as before
But reconciled among the stars.
Bye-bye Carl.

I've been having these gripping dreams that prevent me from waking up at the desired time in the morning. I mean, I do wake up but end up sleeping in the sofa or something because there is a world of complex mysteries to be solved, a world in disorder where all participants must show their stories through colored crystals or any such means. I actually follow through their stories in my dreams most of the time.

It used to be that when I dreamed I could understand what I was processing. These have been deep wells of complexity I can't quite grok yet. It's like I had written a nine-film saga every day I wake up way too late, like today. Sorry if this is rushed, but I need to get it out of my system before I can get through my affairs.

I've been having extremely vivid and easy to remember dreams lately. A recent one actually played out like a coherent story, and really didn't have the randomness you would expect.

It started out with a definition: Jail- a home for people who have done bad things. Then there was a man driving a delivery truck, drinking orange juice. Every morning he drinks 8 glasses of orange juice, but not just any orange juice; He exclusively drinks pulp-free orange juice from concentrate, stolen from the his deliveries (he delivers food to schools). He's been doing this for years, so when he finally got caught he had stolen so much that he had to go to jail.
This is where I come in. I am in a crowded cafeteria and I am buying...orange juice. I buy 8 of the little cups of orange juice, the tiny ones with foil on top as a lid. I was in the jail's cafeteria and I make my way to the man's cell and give him the orange juice through the bars.

That's where I woke up.

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